Longboarding for Peace in the Middle East
What would happen if you took 30 skateboards and 30 helmets and brought them to kids in Israel and the Palestinian Territories in an effort to create a peace-building initiative? Michael Brooke, publisher of longboard skateboard magazine, Concrete Wave came up with the idea of longboarding for peace to answer this question. He contacted Arthur Rashkovan of Surfing for Peace and Matt Olsen of Explore Corps. Together they worked with the Peres Center for Peace in Jaffa, Israel to make this idea a reality. This is the story of what took place in July 2012.
The unique approach and programming of the Search-Spark-Stoke combines Michael Brooke’s 37 years of skateboarding experience with the programmatic expertise of Explore Corps, the parent company of Surfing 4 Peace. “Longboarding is exploding in popularity. It’s fun and easy to learn” explains Brooke. “Not everyone lives near surf and learning to ride can be a challenge. Longboards are much easier to learn than regular street skateboards and you don’t need to live by the sea to feel the thrill of the ride.”According to Surfing 4 Peace leader Arthur Rashkovan, “We have made great gains in building ties between surfers across political and cultural borders in the past few years. Expanding our programming to include longboarding was a natural progression. We can include more people, and longboard when there are no waves.”
The Search-Spark-Stoke Tour 2012 consisted of four events in the cities of Jaffa, East Jerusalem, Jericho and Sderot. Michael Brooke and a team of volunteers from Surfing 4 Peace lead the instruction. Each session hosted 30-50 local youth participants selected by the Peres Center For Peace. At the events, following the curriculum developed by Michael Brooke and Explore Corps the youth learned to ride longboards while promoting peace.
Micheal Brooke wishes to continue this initiative for another 8 months. The way you can help is by contributing through indiegogo.com, funds made on indiegogo.com go DIRECTLY to the Peres Center for Peace Longboarding for Peace initiative. To learn more about how you can help: Click Here